Just Build It

By Shawn Smith,

Published on Mar 18, 2012   —   2 min read

A very simple principle guides the way my company works. We go about our daily lives, doing our work, and when we find a problem, we solve it. That's it. We are no more in the software business than we are in any other sort of business. Our primary objective is to solve problems. In so doing, we end up using software a lot of the time because it just so happens to be the most convenient way of tackling an issue in this digital day and age.

We are huge fans of the software we use. I'm talking about WordPress, Woo Themes, Xero, Bascamp, Zendesk and many others. All of these platforms make our daily business lives easier. They provide a simple solution to most of the problems we face. But just like any tool, they are never 100% complete. They'll never serve everyone's needs.

We often find ourselves bumping up against the limitations of these platforms. Instead of taking a back seat and waiting, we charge right ahead and build. We've recently built some fantastic plugins for Woo Themes (WooCommerce), all of which arose from problems we were attempting to solve within our own business. We had no idea that Woo would become such an important partner for us, but once we built the plugins, it was inevitable that we would grow together.

By solving your own problem, you are helping more people than you think. I like to wake up in the morning and assume I'm not insane. If there's something I'd like to see in the software I'm using, there's a good chance other people will want it to. So why wait? That's an opportunity right there. You don't need to get anyone's permission to build something. Once you've gone and done it, you've suddenly got a business. To for instance a small pice of code we build for the integration of Sentinel and Zendesk.

Great entrepreneurs aren't born thinking about the next great idea. There is no next great idea. Whatever it is, it's likely to be a solution of some problem we have in the here and now. If you aren't immersed in some kind of work, you probably won't see it. Every moment is built on the foundation laid by the moment before it. If you want inspiration, just dive into something and see what surfaces. And when you finally see what you need to build, don't hesitate.

Remember, you're not insane. Someone else is probably working on your solution too.

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